The Raven, Birds and Beasts in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Wales
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Category: Birds and Beasts
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Title: The Raven


The raven has ever enjoyed a notoriously bad name as a bird of ill-omen. He was one of those birds which the Jews were to have in abomination (Lev., xi., 5-13). But other nations besides the Jews dreaded the raven.| The raven himself is hoarse, That croaks the fatal entrance of, Duncan under thy battlements. (Macbeth, Act i., s. 5.)| Thus wrote Shakespeare, giving utterance to a superstition then common.  From these words it would seem that the raven was considered a sign of evil augury to a person whose house was about to be entered by a visitor,If he heard the croaking he had better turn back, for an evil fate awaited him.  But the raven’s croaking was thought to foretell misfortune to a person about to enter another’s house.  If he heard the croaking he had better turn back, for an evil fate awaited him.| In Denmark the appearance of a raven in a village is considered an indication that the parish priest is to die, or that the church is to be burnt down that year. The Danes of old prognosticated from the appearance of the raven on their banners the result of a battle. If the banner flapped, and exhibited the raven as alive, it augured success; if, however, it moved not, defeat awaited them.|In Welsh there is a pretty saying:—| Duw a ddarpar i’r frân.| God provides for the raven.| But this, after all, is only another rendering of the lovely words:—| Your heavenly Father feedeth them.|Such words imply that the raven is a favoured bird.


Find information on "The Raven", and Birds and Beasts, in Wales. Celtic and Welsh mythology and folklore in the Walesdirectory.co.uk.